The only things hotter than the heat-radiating bleachers at the U.Va Baseball Field yesterday were Tim LaVigne's bat and Brandon Creswell's arm.
The hitting-pitching combination cleared the way for Virginia to take a 10-6 victory against No. 10 North Carolina and wrap up a 2-1 series win.
Entering the bottom of the third facing a 3-1 deficit, the Virginia bats sprung to life. Luis Giraldo hit an RBI double to left-center before LaVigne spanked a home run to dead centerfield. The ball dropped behind the number 408 painted on the back wall, marking the farthest distance on the field.
Before the Cavaliers (19-24-1, 7-11 ACC) could return to the dugout after greeting LaVigne at the plate, right fielder Ben Himes homered, compelling the players to turn around and form another butt-smacking line for Himes.
By the time David Stone - who scored the inning's first run - grounded out to end the third, the Cavs had scored six runs on seven hits to open a 7-3 lead and had cycled through the entire lineup.
"They hit line drives everywhere where we weren't," Carolina coach Mike Fox said. "Some of them were bad pitches, but some of them were good pitches that they just went down and got."
"We had a good approach [yesterday] in terms of being aggressive at the plate against a good guy," Virginia coach Dennis Womack said of his squad's hitting against North Carolina's Ryan Earey, who was 4-0 before yesterday's loss.
Creswell (3-7) pitched six solid innings for the Cavaliers, remaining focused even when North Carolina (36-11, 8-10) scored three runs in the top of the third. Creswell struck out Tar Heel Chris Maples to end the inning after allowing four hits.
"That [UNC third] could have been more than a three-run inning, but Creswell kept his poise and that was key," Womack said.
LaVigne, who took the mound in the eighth with a 10-4 lead, took a little while to warm up, allowing a two-run single to Dan Moylan. The Virginia co-captain found his closing touch in the ninth.
"Timmy is one of those extremely valuable guys who can come in and close a game out," Womack said. "You've got to have one of those guys if you're going to win one of these games."
Virginia won the first game of the series 6-5 Friday. Catcher Mark Rueffert drove in three runs and Giraldo scored two runs.
UNC rallied Saturday to take the second game, 5-4. Clay Hooper and Tyrell Godwin both tallied two hits and Adam Greenberg scored two runs.